Photo by: Sam Lewis
Before arriving in Miami last year from Frankfurt, Germany, FIU forward
Quentin Albrecht had been to the U.S. once, four years ago for two weeks in Boston. So it's safe to say Albrecht encountered somewhat of a culture shock -- an affectionate one. Not that it derailed Albrecht, who led the Panthers in goals last season
and is at it again this year scoring four of the five goals for undefeated FIU (3-0) which takes on Wisconsin on Friday in Madison. Albrecht has been cooking on the soccer pitch for FIU and in the kitchen as well where he can whip up an Italian favorite. The
Johnny Bravo/Jimmy Neutron look-a-like also has Mark Zuckerberg-like plans for his post-soccer career. . . .Like to go Out of the Cage with Quentin Albrecht.
PP: The difference between Miami and Germany?
QA: The main difference is the heat. I ran for like two weeks just to get used to the heat here in Miami. There are a lot more nationalities here just on my team. In Germany, there were at the most like two other nationalities. I like that about Miami.
It’s good to get to know all the cultures. I like going to South Beach. Downtown Miami is interesting, but it’s not the prettiest place in Miami. I like Miami. One of the reasons I came here is because Miami is not in the middle of nowhere and I come from
a big city in Germany.
PP: What was the biggest culture shock for you in Miami?
QA: People are quick to say I love you a lot.
PP: In Miami? Are you sure? You sure it wasn’t Miami of Ohio?
QA: They get to love you here in Miami really fast. All the people here say, “Nice to meet you. I love you.” People in Miami are really friendly compared to Germany. They are friendly in Germany, but not personal-friendly.
PP: Why do you think soccer has not caught on in the United States?
QA: That’s an interesting question. In Germany, it’s the biggest thing ever. It’s like football here in America. Every little kid in Germany wants to be a professional soccer player. Soccer is getting better in America and people are more interested
in it. They know all over the world it’s a big deal. The U.S. National team is getting better and there is a lot of potential for soccer in the U.S. because this is a huge country.
PP: What was it like for you with the U.S. National team practicing here?
QA: It was good. The coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, talked to us for like 30 minutes. He was very motivating. He talked about how a professional should live and the mentality it takes to play soccer. You have to be mentally strong and it applies to me since
I’m a forward. You might think of the missed chances during a game, but if you think of the positive stuff you might get better. Think of how you are going to score the next goal and not how you would miss it.
When you first heard Kenny Arena was going to be the coach here, did you know much about him?
QA: The first thing I did was Google him. I didn’t know a lot. I knew the last name because of Bruce Arena, his father. Kenny was an MLS player and he was a pretty good player. He’s a young guy whom I really like because he can relate to us, how we feel
on the field and what problems we might have besides soccer. When Kenny got here he had individual conversations with each player, which is really good. I like to talk a lot to the coaches.
PP: Before you Googled Kenny, what was the most famous arena you knew? Madison Square Garden?
QA: Allianz Arena (photo above) in Germany where they play soccer.
PP: What’s the best tasting German food?
QA: Wiener Schnitzel, which is breaded veal.
PP: What’s your favorite American food?
QA: I like a nice hamburger from Five Guys.
PP: You need to go to Fuddruckers up the street from Five Guys on SW 107 Ave. Five Guys is like
compared to Fuddruckers. You have different burgers to choose from at Fuddruckers like Buffalo, Turkey, Elk or Wild Boar.
QA: I like a good burger with mushrooms on top. Not so much the exotic meats.
PP: I heard you are the best cook on the soccer team. What is the best dish that you cook?
QA: Spaghetti bolognese. I use different meats, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, garlic. You need time to cook it properly, about three hours. I learned from my cousin in Germany. We have a lot of Italian restaurants in Germany and I eat
a lot of pasta and pizza.
PP: You’re an international business major. What are your plans after you graduate?
QA: I would like to work on an app that has to do with social networking that includes something else. It’s top secret.
PP: You’ve gotten from different people around here that you look like two different cartoon characters: Jimmy Neutron and Johnny Bravo. I going to go with Jimmy Neutron since you have this top secret app you are working
on. Which one do you think you look like more?
QA: I don’t know who Johnny Bravo (below right) is so I’ll go with
Jimmy Neutron (below left). We have Jimmy Neutron in Germany, but not Johnny Bravo.
By Pete Pelegrin